SAMMY Ameobi and Paul Dummett are ready to challenge for a place in Alan Pardew’s Premier League starting XI at Newcastle United.
That was Pardew’s verdict after watching the Academy graduates play their part in last night’s 2-0 Capital One Cup win over Leeds United.
Forward Ameobi set up both Newcastle’s goals, while defender Dummett helped the team keep a clean sheet.
Pardew hasn’t named an English-born player in his league starting XI since the first game against Manchester City.
But the pair, both born in Newcastle, are very much in Pardew’s thoughts ahead of Monday night’s game against Everton at Goodison Park.
“I don’t really need to talk it up, I think it spoke for itself,” said Pardew.
“The real highlight was obviously Dummett and Sammy.
“We’ve had Paul since he was nine, and we’ve had Sammy since he was 14.
“I bumped into a lady today when I was popping out for my lunch, and she said ‘you are looking after my nine-year-old at the moment.
“I said ‘well, there is a route to the first team’.
“There’s nothing better than having local players on the pitch.
“We’re really pushing those two to see if they can crack a regular first team spot.
“They were terrific, and I’m pleased for them both.”
The challenge for Ameobi and Dummett is to step up to the “next level”.
“It’s very, very difficult, as we all know, for local players to get into the team,” said Pardew.
“Those two have done really well, but they have got to push on now to the next level.”